Precious cargo - Air New Zealand carries RATs to the rescue

Air New Zealand is helping to bring in tens of millions of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to support Aotearoa's Covid response over the coming months.
14 February 2022

The airline is operating nine charter flights through to 20 February, and Air New Zealand's General Manager Cargo Anna Palairet says there are plenty more in the works.

"Operating these charter flights was a no brainer. There is a real urgency to bring Rapid Antigen Tests into New Zealand, and we're proud to be playing our part in getting them here. It's truly been a fantastic team effort between Air New Zealand, Ministry of Health and the freight forwarders.

"We've been operating charters for RAT kits since December, but things are really ramping up now. In addition to charters, we've also been making use of capacity on commercial flights. Where we've got space, we're using it for RATs. While we are constrained by available aircraft and operating crew for charter flights, having our 777-300 back in action from last week will help to increase cargo capacity across the network.

"We know the demand is there, and our teams are doing everything they can to try and fulfil it."

Air New Zealand has seen its cargo business skyrocket over the past two years, with an estimated 200 million tonnes of product carried since 2020.



Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

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About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 19,000 daily flights to more than 1,250 airports in 195 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines.

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